July 2011

July 2011

July 2011
photo by Bryan Scott
Bob Edmiston of the Leapdogs Parachute Team performs at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Airshow in Titusville, Florida

July 2011 | Volume 52, Number 7 | Issue 621 more »

An Eye on the Past While Looking Ahead

In 1946, the United Nations hosted its first meeting. President Truman created the CIA. The bikini bathing suit debuted, the microwave oven was invented, and B.B. King began his musical career. In aviation, the first rocket attained 100 miles in altitude; the Civil Aeronautics Administration certified the Bell 47, the first commercial helicopter; and a Lockheed Constellation made the first non-stop transcontinental commercial flight. And in July of that year, the National Parachute Jumpers-Riggers Inc. filed articles of incorporation in the State of New York. Its board of directors numbered nine. Dues were $5. Part of the organization’s stated purpose was to “provide for the mutual assistance, enjoyment, entertainment and improvement of the members socially and physically,” and it also focused on safety, training, education and competition. more »

Foundations of Flight—Toggle Stalls

Axis Flight LogoBrought to you by Axis Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Brianne Thompson. more »

Drinking and Packing Don’t Mix

A jumper who had hooked up and packed his new canopy in the evening (reportedly after having “a few beers”) landed from his first jump the next day complaining of a hard opening. Upon inspecting the canopy, his rigger found the slider in this configuration. Fortunately, the jumper received only a few bruised ribs and a sore neck from the opening. more »

Help Your Packer Help You



What are the things I should do before handing my rig over to a packer? more »

Jumping at Unfamiliar DZs

Jumping at an unfamiliar drop zone can be intimidating, especially to newer skydivers who may have jumped at only one place so far. Jumpers need to approach visiting a new location with caution and planning, whether it is just a weekend jumping out of a Cessna 182 or sharing the skies with hundreds of jumpers at a large boogie. And this caution applies to jumpers of all experience levels. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Doug Garr


by Doug Garr | D-2791 | New York, New York

It was April 12, 1969. I had turned 20 the previous week and found myself hanging from the strut of a Cessna 206. A sort-of-nerdy guy with horn-rimmed glasses who lived down the hall in my dorm had made several skydives. Though I kept oversleeping and exhaling with relief when bad weather scrubbed my planned jumping weekends, I figured if he could do it, I could. Also, as a sophomore journalism major, I thought it was a good story for my college newspaper. more »

Profile - Taya Weiss | D-27874

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20117Taya Weiss, D-27874, is an accomplished wingsuit pilot who has an Ivy-League education and founded skydiving outreach organization Raise the Sky. She was instrumental in developing the first official judging system for wingsuit formations and was on the 68-way U.S. Wingsuit Formation Record in 2009. Recently, she and canopy pilot Jessica Edgeington became the first female pair to perform a canopy-wingsuit dock. more »

Gearing Up - July 2011


USPA and its predecessor organizations have always promoted skydiving competition. Then called the Parachute Club of America, USPA began conducting meets in the late ’50s and early ’60s, and the tradition continues today with the annual USPA Nationals and the USPA Collegiate Nationals. But to USPA staff and board members, “competition” means much more than an event. It’s the 205-page Skydiver’s Competition Manual (SCM) of rules and requirements that requires constant updating. more »

What One DZ's Accidents Say About Us All

Skydive Arizona, one of the world’s busiest drop zones, has tracked its fatalities, injuries and incidents for the past 20 years. The figures have recently been compiled into a comprehensive report, “Learning From the Mistakes of Others: Skydive Arizona Accident Review, 1991 to 2011.” Remarkably, just plain bad luck accounted for less than 5 percent of all incidents—meaning 95 percent of the accidents were preventable. In addition, 75 percent of the skydiving fatalities did not involve any equipment malfunctions (which closely parallels national and international statistics). Furthermore, visiting jumpers were slightly greater than five times more likely to die in a skydiving accident than Skydive Arizona locals. What do these numbers tell us about how to make people safer skydivers? more »